This guidebook is the first of three regional volumes that invite residents and out-of-state visitors to explore North Carolina while reading literature from our state's finest writers. Organized geographically through a series of eighteen half-day and day-long tours in the western part of the state, the book directs curious travelers to the historic sites where Tar Heel authors have lived and worked. Along the way, travelers can read outstanding excerpts from the writers, evoking the places, customs, colloquialisms, and characters that figure prominently in their poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and plays. More than 170 writers from the past and present are featured in this volume, including Sequoyah, Elizabeth Spencer, Fred Chappell, Charles Frazier, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Robert Morgan, William Bartram, Gail Godwin, O. Henry, Thomas Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Anne Tyler, Lillian Jackson Braun, Nina Simone, and Romulus Linney. Each tour provides information about the libraries, museums, colleges, bookstores, and other venues open to the public where writers regularly present their work or are represented in exhibits, events, performances, and festivals.